Monday, April 9, 2012

The Infinite Thinking Machine Show Returns

The Infinite Thinking Machine is a web video series produced by CUE. The show returned last week after a five year hiatus. The new show, like the old show, aims to deliver inspiration for creative and innovative ventures by teachers and students. The first episode of the new series highlights some of the work of my friend Rushton Hurley and Next Vista for Learning. Check the new show in the video below.

Storyline Online - Actors Reading Stories to Children

Storyline Online is a collection of video recordings of children's stories being read by notable actors and actresses. Each video has a short introduction by the actor before transitioning to the reading of the story. Students can follow along with the pictures and words of each story. Along with each video you will find a set of online and offline activities to support your use of each story in your classroom.

Applications for Education
Storyline Online could be a nice resource for elementary school classrooms. The videos are short and easy to follow. If you're looking for some nice reading activities for students to do at home with their parents, Storyline Online could be good for that too.

How To Use Evernote for Bookmarking and More

Last night on Twitter I mentioned that I had just installed Evernote on one of my Android devices. A handful of people followed up with questions about how to use Evernote and how I use it. Here is the outline of how I'm using Evernote now. Below the outline you will find some videos about how to use Evernote.

How I'm Using Evernote
Bookmarking - When Google announced that they were removing the list option from Google Bookmarks I started using Evernote for all of my bookmarks. The Evernote Web Clipper allows me to not only bookmark URLs but also annotate each bookmark with notes for myself about each URL that I bookmark. I also use the Evernote Web Clipper for clipping sections of webpages including text and images.

Note taking - Evernote works on all of my devices and my notes are synchronized across all of my devices. I have Evernote installed on my Samsung Galaxy Tablet. Recently, I was flying home from Salt Lake City and got an idea for a blog post. I wrote out that blog post while offline then when I got off the plane and reconnected to the Internet that post was automatically synched to my Evernote account.

Pictures - I'm trying to take more pictures to use in presentations. I've been storing quite a few of my pictures in my Evernote account.

Skitch - Skitch is a great screen capture product that was acquired by Evernote last year. Skitch allows me to capture my screen (on my computer and on my Android tablet) and draw on that screen capture.

How to Get Started Using Evernote
The Web Clipper is the Evernote product that I use most frequently. The video below will get you started using it.

I also use the Evernote Google Chrome Extension quite often. The video below shows you how to use it.

For a great soup-to-nuts overview of all things Evernote, I recommend this video.

The video below is the first part of a seven part series on how to use Evernote.

Applications for Education
For students there are two distinct benefits of using Evernote. First, bookmarking online with annotations helps students not only keep track of websites they find useful while researching, it also helps them remember why they bookmarked a site. There's nothing worse that looking at your bookmarks a week or two later and wondering what it was about a website that prompted you to bookmark it. Second, by writing course notes in Evernote students can access their notes from any device that is connected to the web.

Video - Using Flubaroo to Grade Quizzes

In my new free ebook Google Documents for Teachers I included directions for using the Flubaroo script to grade multiple choice quizzes. The Flubaroo website offers a good video that will walk you through the process too. The video is embedded below.

Applications for Education
If you use multiple choice quizzes for any purpose in your classroom, administering those quizzes through Google Documents and grading them with Flubaroo can save you a lot of time. That's time that you can use for other things like delivering more instruction or building better relationships with students.

Google Docs for Teachers - A Free eBook

In the past I have published a couple of guides to using Google Documents in the classroom. The problem with those guides is that they were made before the latest round of updates to Google Documents. Yesterday I sat down and built a new guide, Google Documents for Teachers. The 40 page guide (embedded below) is designed to help teachers who have never used Google Documents. This document is part of a larger project that I hope to complete this month. Please leave a comment if you have suggestions about how to improve this document.

Some highlights from Google Documents for Teachers:
Creating self-grading quizzes
Creating, sharing, and publishing documents and presentations.
And creating a personal Google Account.

Download this document:
If you want to download this document you will have to register on either Issuu or DocStoc to do so. I realize that this introduces an extra step to the process, but it's the best way for me to track the number of views, embeds, and downloads of my documents.

Google Docs for Teachers

Update: I forgot to mention in my original post. Thanks to Jen Deyenberg for the idea of publishing this as a stand-alone document instead of waiting to include it in a larger document.